The best Cinco de Mayo cocktail recipe

Celebrate this wonderful 'holiday' in true Mexican style.

Celebrate this wonderful ‘holiday’ in true Mexican style.

No one likes that guy at the Cinco de Mayo party who goes from group to group educating everyone that May 5th is barely even a holiday in Mexico (which he invariably pronounces Meh-Hee-Ho). So I’m loathe to be the cocktail equivalent of that guy when I tell you Mexicans aren’t as gaga for Margaritas as you’d think. When they’re making a tequila cocktail they’re much more apt to pour a Paloma to beat back some of that tropical heat. The key with the Paloma is to embrace its working class roots: that means grapefruit soda, not grapefruit juice, which makes it taste like a Greyhound. And it means not measuring the lime juice exactly—cut a lime in half squeeze it and drop the rind in. But you still have to buy decent tequila (or mezcal if you want to call an interesting audible) as no amount of pop can mask the taste of the bad stuff. It’s the perfect drink to toast September 16th – which is actually Mexican Independence day, but you may as start practicing today, even though it’s barely even a holiday in Mexico.


 2 oz. Reposada Tequila – Cazadores is a well-priced optionJuice of half a limeGrapefruit Soda – Mexican’s use Squirt, but Jarritos works, as does the stuff from SafewayPinch of SaltIn a large glass (I use pint glasses) combine tequila and lime juice and drop used lime husk right in there as well. Top with ice, add soda, stir and top with a healthy pinch of salt.